Am I a fibre enthusiast?
Well, yes and no. It entirely depends on the creation.
If, like me, you play with colour and create using needles, hooks and pins then it is possible that any fibre will do as long as the colour works for you. So it could be that being a fibre gatherer could really mean that you are a colour coordinator and that what you create just happens to be of a fibre.
Now even though I adore 100% wools, mohair, Angora, cashmere, silk, cotton, alpaca, bamboo, soy, ribbon, fun faux fur, possum and all the betwixts and betweens my first real step to fibre use was the need to create garments for babies as cheaply as possible. I used the yarns I found in the bargain bins and the techniques of knitting and crochet were the means to that end. What did happen for me was that I acquired a great range of yarns of many colours but with very few or only one ball of each – hence colour work became my norm very early on. The fibres were whatever I could purchase cheaply enough and I did not aim to create with any specific yarn type other than the yarn needing to knit at the same tension. I did avoid where possible the early acrylics which were very nasty yarns indeed.
Does that make me a fibre enthusiast or a colour enthusiast?
While I knitted and created pieces of many different yarns I am desirous of having the opportunity of working with the wonderful silky Qiviut fibre from the downy undercoat of the musk ox so it seems I could also be a fibre enthusiast whatever it is that I have said here.
A cautionary tale is a tale told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger.
My cautionary tale is that should you feel the need to create with yarn – if you follow my path of buying all and everything by colour you will end up with a stash of many many yarns. They will be of many many types, of a range of thicknesses and you may also end up always knitting and crocheting with many colours in one piece to enable you to work through that stash. It could be dangerous.
For me this is a good place, for others who have viewed both my stash and my work, they are of the opinion that it belongs with me and they will just purchase exactly what is required to create exactly what they wish to knit or crochet.
Yes I didn’t like the early acylic yarns and I would love to knit with Qiviut – so I am probably a fibre and colour enthusiast.
I recently did a bit of a rave about Grannyg. She, that is Grannyg has a mission to save the world – one craft at a time, and she is doing very well at it, even on her own – she knits, spins, weaves, sews and bakes (I am told gloriously well). Oh, and she drinks coffee. I guess she must also drink tea given that the website is called Crafternoon Tea with Grannyg or maybe the name was a decision born to fill a rhyming need as Crafternoon Coffee with Grannyg does not work at all well.
Well Grannyg and I had a long talk a couple of weeks ago and today the podcast is up and ready so if you are at all curious about podcasts on crafts in, or to do with New Zealand and New Zealanders then do listen to it.
Now I am Danish born, but I certainly sound like a New Zealander as you will hear. It is not so surprising as I have lived in New Zealand since December 28th 1948. Of course it is possible that it was the 29th, I just can’t quite recall, it being a wee while ago and at that time I was of an age where dates were not quite so important to me.
We established I have a long history with New Zealand including the craft / art / knitting world and as such am qualified to be interviewed, and what a fun interview that was. It did run on a bit, as it does when you are discussing stuff dear to your heart and it was great fun. Fortunately Grannyg being a very technically au fait granny, she has edited it a bit.
And if you think I laugh and sound like a smoker – believe me I am not and have never been. I spoke to Best Beloved about that and he reminded me that on the day I had a bad air day. What do you think of that – he noticed my bad air day, never ever notices my bad hair days. He was downstairs while Grannyg was interviewing me, or was that while we were talking about stuff we both love. No, it really was an interview.
Isn’t technology great – we spoke across the airwaves, and now I can, and I hope you do as well, we can listen to it over the airwaves – clear as day.
Sorry – I forgot say – we are living in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, In North Holland, which is why this was an interview via the ether. I am calmer about ether today you will note. We have been here in the Netherlands just over 2 years and will return to New Zealand late next year. In the meantime my Best Beloved is working, and I am designing and knitting, just filling in the days with yarn, ideas, colours and even patterns.
I hope these patterns and I probably have several hundred partially written or connie knithand notes that will become patterns. These here patterns are to be sold so I can continue my passion for yarns. I will quietly curl up my toes as the New Zealand pension is unlikely to be sufficient to cover my yarn needs.
Please go look and then listen. It will help Grannyg with her quest and with luck it will also help me with mine – and please forward the link.
Many many years ago – I attended my first Kaffe session on colour and knitting in New Zealand. I purchased a Kaffe videotape at that time, I do not have it with me here in the Netherlands & cannot recall the title – the subject was knitting with colour, as in many many colours, and viewing your world for ideas to create new knitted pieces using many colours and shapes.
When Kaffe came to New Zealand then I had already been knitting & crocheting using many colours in freeform intarsia since the early 1970′s. I found as everyone does great inspiration in listening to him then & I continued to knit with many colours and yarns even though I was informed by others that my knitting was not normal, nor was my passion for playing with colour. I do however feel quite quite normal.
I have searched the Kaffe Fassett listings in Youtube and cannot see my video tape there. But the concepts in this new video apply to knitting as well as quilting, mosaics and other art and textile art forms.
I hope you enjoy it and if you are feeling a bit short of ideas or low in creative energy - go to Kaffe Fassett on YouTube – you will discover much to inspire you.
This piece was created for my Colour Play Exhibition held in Auckland at the Randolph Street Gallery, at Whitecliffe School of Fine Arts and Design in 2007.
There were, and still are many purple yarns in my stash. I created this sweater using mohair, and many other yarns that knitted at a similar tension. I do not have a pattern for the sweater or for the intarsia design on it – it is knitted in free form.
It was created from the waistband which I knitted in the round. I then knitted the front and the back at the same time up to the shoulders – (back and forth not circularly).
This enabled me to continue the colours at the sides so that when stitched together the design wrapped around and it reduced the effect of the side seam. The shoulders were bound off with a 3 needle cast off. The neck band was originally a rib knitted in the round. I ripped that out and knitted a semi cowl collar in stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch. I liked it so much I ripped out the waist band and knitted the new waistband down using the same yarns and stitches as at the neck. The cuffs were knitted down from the sleeve in rib.
I have knitted many sweaters in this way, with free form intarsia on a knitted shape. This is the first where I have removed the original neckline and waistline ribs and replaced them with stocking stich and reverse stocking stitch finish.
The owner of it loves it.
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Art, Craft & Fibre Art Connections and other interesting sites
- A Gallery of Artists
- Craft Site Directory – Your Guide to Arts and Crafts on the Internet
- Crafternoon tea with Grannyg
- Creative Knitting Online Magazine
- European Textile Network
- Fiber Gypsy – Gallery of Fiber Artists
- Florence Biennale
- HotHive Textiles – the world of creative textiles
- Interweave Knits Magazine
- Jamie R. Morhaim – Paintings
- Japanese Knitters and Designers website
- Knitter's – The Knitting Universe
- Knitter's Graph Paper
- Lisa's Handspun Designs
- Lucire – The Global Fashion Magazine
- Marian Towns – Artist
- Melanie Ferdon
- Mishi Yarns
- Naughty Knitterz – The Internet Fiber Collaboration
- New Zealand’s Information Network
- Old Fart Expats
- Textile Arts – Resources for the textile arts community
- Textile Fibre Forum – The Australian Forum for Textile Arts
- The Big Idea Te Aria Nui
- The Knitting Guild Association
- Top 50 Knitting Sites
- Twisted Thread
- Visit New Zealand by TravelIndex
- Vogue Knitting
- World arts & artists – An arts portal
- WTA – World Textile Art Organisation